Make a gingerbread house

Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, invites kids to bring a parent, grandparent or adult friend to build a Candyland gingerbread house during an Adult/Child Gingerbread House Making event on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to noon in the library’s Community Room.

The library will supply the kit, you supply the creativity. When you finish, you can take it with you to decorate your home. One kit per family. There must be at least one adult 18 or older.

Visit online to register. Space is limited.

Riverside Arts Center opens new shows Dec. 3

Riverside Arts Center, 32 E. Quincy St., welcomes visitors to enjoy three new exhibitions set to open during the Holiday Stroll on Friday, Dec. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. RAC will be serving hot beverages in the Sculpture Garden, and there will also be artwork priced for unique gift-giving and a pop-up shop with work from RAC teachers.

Liz Chilsen, “Messenger (Wildwing),” smoke-fired high-fired stoneware on found and altered wooden base

The new exhibitions include tandem solo shows featuring the art of Liz Chilsen and Stephanie Brooks in the Freeark Gallery and Sculpture Garden.

Chilsen is executive director of RAC. Of her new show titled “Messengers,” Chilsen says, “These works are part of my ongoing exploration of place, and connection to ancestral time, love and loss. Each piece is a container of mystery and promise.”

Brooks is a conceptual artist who has curated shows at RAC in the past. In her exhibition titled “Obstacles and Intimacies,” Brooks says, “I’m interrogating the ways in which intimacy and barriers intersect. Using barricades both literally and metaphorically, I ask viewers to think on what is a barricade and what is intimate in their lives — how do we navigate and negotiate public and private spaces?”

Both shows are part of the RAC Spotlight Exhibition series, which highlight artists who are part of the RAC community. The shows continue through Jan. 8.

Tulika Ladsariya, “Trophy Mother,” high-fired ceramic, 2021

In the FlexSpace Gallery, the show “Vessels” opens on Dec. 3, featuring the art of Tulika Ladsariya, Melissa Zeigler Monroe and Shawn Vincent. All are ceramic artists exploring multiple meanings of the vessel form. Artworks in this exhibition are priced to sell for unique holiday gift-giving.

The show continues through Dec. 31.

For more information, visit the Riverside Arts Center website.

Holiday music concert at LTHS

Lyons Township High School presents “Fanfares and Carols,” a special holiday concert collaboration between Aging Care Connections and the Older Adult Connections Club, on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 and 8 p.m. in the North Campus Reber Center, 100 S. Brainard Ave. in LaGrange.

Lauren Hayes

The concert features special appearances of LT’s percussion ensemble and harpist Lauren Hayes. Modern and ancient music will illustrate the time of year as well as cultures that make up our communities. Masks required.

Lux Cantorum in Riverside

Lux Cantorum, Chicago’s premiere sacred choral ensemble presents “Holiday Blessings,” a live performance of favorite choral music of the season, featuring works by J.S. Bach, Rachmaninoff, Forrest and others, at Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church in Riverside, 250 Woodside Road, on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 4 p.m.

Lux Cantorum

Advance online tickets (in-person and livestream) may be purchased for $20 (free admission for children under age 10). No ticket sales at the door.

COVID vaccine verification (CDC vaccination card or a photo facsimile) for persons age 5 and older is necessary for admission. Masking and distancing will be observed.

More information about the concert is available at

Christmas movies and class stereotypes

The Linda Sokol Francis Brookfield Library, 3541 Park Ave., invites you to join film historian Kelli Marshall for “Chicago, Christmas Movies and Class Stereotypes,” on Monday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. in Meeting Room 1.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989), “Home Alone” (1990), and “While You Were Sleeping” (1995) have entertained audiences for decades. But have you ever thought about why? What does their social class—lower, middle or upper—have to do with your reaction? Find out in this hour-long discussion of class stereotypes in Chicago-based Christmas movies.

Register by calling 708-485-6917, ext. 130 or by visiting online.

Unbuilt Chicago

Riverside Public Library presents a special online program “Chicago’s Unbuilt Projects” featuring urbanologist and historian Max Grinnell on Monday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.

What do we want Chicago to be like in the future? Over the past 130 years, a range of speculative plans have been unveiled for everything from transit systems to elaborate urban renewal projects that were never completed.

Grinnell will talk about Frank Lloyd Wright’s plans for a mile-high skyscraper, the plans for a unified Civic Center and other projects that would have dramatically changed Chicago.

Register by visiting online and a link will be sent via email.

And more

  • Brookfield Zoo’s 40th Annual Holiday Magic festival of lights continues through the end of the year on the following dates: Dec. 1-5, 8-12, 15-19 and 26-31 from 3 to 9 p.m. each day. Reserved-time admission (available in 20-minute increments) and parking tickets must be purchased online prior to arrival. Visit
  • Riverside Parks and Recreation invites kids to write letters to Santa and place them in a special mailbox that’s been located on the east side of the historic water tower, 10 Pine Ave. Letters received by Dec. 18 will get a note back from Santa.
  • Kuratko-Nosek Funeral Home, 2447 Desplaines Ave. in North Riverside, invites you to send troops and local veterans a taste of home for the holidays by participating in their Christmas Stockings for Soldiers & Veterans drive through Dec. 17. Stop in at the funeral home Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and pick up a free stocking to take home, decorate and stuff with Christmas cheer. Bring the filled stocking back for delivery to troops abroad and veterans at home. Call 708-447-2500.
  • Visit Santa Claus in the lower level center court of North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, through Christmas Eve on the following dates: Nov. 26-27 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Nov. 28 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Dec. 1-17 from noon to 7 p.m.; Dec. 18-23 from noon to 8 p.m.; and Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visits are free, photo packages available for purchase.
  • Riverside Arts Center presents “Porcelain Utopia: Mid-Century Lustron Homes in Illinois and Beyond,” an exhibit of photographs by Dirk Fletcher in the lobby of the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road, through Dec. 31. Free. Open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., invites you the hybrid program DIY Gift Tags on Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m.; an in-person Sewing Help Desk on Dec. 4 from 1 to 3 p.m.; Make and Take Painted Pinecones Dec. 6-11 and Stretching and Meditation via conference call (800-747-5150, code 1453322) on Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m.

Kids ages 4-up can choose either in-person or Zoom attendance for Lapsit Storytime on Dec. 2 at 10:30 a.m.; After School Art Escape on Dec. 2 at 3:30 p.m.; Learn with Lester the Llama on Dec. 4 at 10:30 a.m.; ABCs and 123s on Dec. 6 at 10:30 a.m.; Story Safari on Dec. 8 at 10:30 a.m.; and Silly Science, Crazy Construction & Stuff (in-person only) on Dec. 8 at 4 p.m.

Register for programs at

  • Linda Sokol Francis Brookfield Library, 3541 Park Ave., invites you to Chair Yoga via Zoom on Dec. 2 at 11 a.m. There’s also a Movies with Marty screening of “3 Godfathers” starring John Wayne on Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. and Brookfield Holiday Celebration Drop-in Crafts on Dec. 4 from noon to 5 p.m. Visit to register for programs.
  • Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, presents Developing Sound Financial Skills, a virtual program presented by Consumer Credit Counseling of Northern Illinois on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. URL sent after registering.

For kids there’s Friday Flix for teens on Dec. 3 at 3:30 p.m.; First Saturday Storytime in the program Room on Dec. 4 at 10 a.m.; and After School DIY on Dec. 8 at 3:30 p.m. Registration required.

Visit to register for programs.

  • Riverside Chess Club, open to anyone age 5 through adult, meets in person each Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Room 30 of the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road. Players of all levels welcome. Children under 7 require caregiver over 13. Email for more info.
  • Through March 25, 2022 the Lyons Township High School South Campus Fieldhouse indoor track, 4900 S. Willow Springs Road in Western Springs, will be open to the public from 6 to 7 a.m. on days LTHS is in session. There is no admission charge or fee to use the track. Please bring an ID and be prepared to sign in.
  • The Brookfield Elks Lodge, 9022 31st St., hosts bingo the second Sunday of every month. Doors open at 1 p.m. and games start at 2 p.m. with cash payouts. Next bingo night is Dec. 12.